Inspiring, refreshing, remarkable and even magical things happen to us almost every day, even though we don’t always realize. I decided to keep track of these things to focus on the positive side of life and share my findings with other people who may be looking for inspiration or good news. Here are 10 things I loved the most in August:

“Only for You” – Heartless Bastards

Few things make me happier than falling in love with a new song, listening to it over and over feeling like everything is right in the world even if just for a couple minutes. It had been a while since the last time that happened until I came across “Only for You” on YouTube last week and was immediately hypnotized by this mellow tune and Erika Wennerstrom‘s delightful voice. It is such a warm end-of-summer song, you have to give it a try:

Earth911 podcast episode “Customers Targeting Single-Use Plastic Bags”

I always say that, as consumers and citizens, we have the power to improve our society and protect the environment, and this episode of Earth911 is a perfect example of that. It’s about how Theresa Carter, a regular consumer, launched an online petition calling on Target to eliminate single-use plastic bags. She gathered 310,000 signatures so far and has gotten positive responses from Target executives. This is a perfect example of consumer activism, very inspiring to other people who want to do their part for a fairer, more sustainable world. Listen to the Earth911 podcast or read the blog post about it.

Metallica romper

Can you think of anything more adorable than babies wearing Rock’n’Roll clothes? (Except for puppies doing anything, obvs) About 90% of Eli’s clothes are hand-me-downs and I’m so proud of that, but when I buy something for him, it’s cool stuff like this Metallica romper I got at a craft fair the other day. It’s an upcycled old band T-shirt and totally adorable!

Spanish police’s amazing punishment to litterer

Whenever it feels like there’s only bad news – especially in a month when the Amazon forest was burning at unprecedented levels – stumbling upon something good can fill you out with hope. Like  the news about the dumbass who joked about recycling while dumping a fridge off a cliff in Spain and was ordered to drag it back up by authorities, in addition to paying € 45,000 fine and seeing the hilarious punishment become viral online. Yes, that’s the thing to do: if people have no conscience about doing what’s right, hit them where it hurts until they learn to behave like decent human beings.

Clean BC – Plastics Action Plan

I love the fact that BC is invested in reducing the province’s environmental impact, which includes reducing the use of plastic and involving British Columbians in the process. In July they launched a survey asking for residents’ thoughts and ideas to reduce plastic pollution in BC, and I was happy to answer the survey and list some of my ideas. As a Brazilian, I’m not used to seeing the government show any interest or effort in doing anything remotely beneficial for the environment, so I was glad to see that happen here and add my two cents. I was also pleased to read Clean BC’s report and the general plans for the province. The public survey will be open until September 30, if you’d like to participate.

Women kicking ass in Ink Master’s “Battle of the Sexes”

I love Paramount Network’s Ink Master and get excited when a new season begins. Over July and August, I was stoked to see a group of talented female artists doing amazing tattoos, supporting each other and consistently winning challenges in an industry traditionally dominated by men. The final episode airs on September 11 and I’m team Dani Ryan and Laura Marie all the way!

“Writing Without Bullshit” – Josh Bernoff

Books about business writing are always helpful, even if just as reminders to always be direct and save the readers’ time. That’s the case of “Writing Without Bullshit,” which I just finished reading: it doesn’t bring any real innovative tip for experienced business writers, but is definitely a helpful tool for professionals from any industry who want to become effective writers. I especially liked the communication examples from companies like Apple, Yahoo and Google. Read the book and skip the parts that sound too obvious, or just go directly to the main tips on the author’s website.

writing-without-bullshit-cover

Taco casserole recipe

I had stopped eating meat but, unfortunately, needed to resume for health reasons. Now I’m cooking chicken, turkey and pork, and always looking for easy new recipes. I found this One Pot Mexican Beef & Rice Casserole that is easy to make and absurdly delicious, and I’m obsessed with it. I substituted beef for ground turkey in the recipe, renamed it “Tacorole” and wanted to post a photo here, but we just eat it so quickly that there’s no time for pictures. Try it out, you won’t regret it!

one pot mexican beef and rice casserole

Photo from the blog Damn Delicious

Ikea’s Knagglig pine box

We’re following Montessori principles to educate Eli. These principles include providing an environment with everything he needs to explore and learn independently, and using natural materials such as wood and cotton. We needed a place to store toys in his play area, and this pine box was the perfect finding because it looks natural, Eli can see what is inside, and it’s light enough that he can pull around as he wishes. And it was only $7.99!

Ikea Knagglig pine box

Speaking of Ikea, this meme is all of us:

Funny Ikea meme

Lol! See you in September!